Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Charles Craig Lynn, Jr.

Manassas City Cemetery, Manassas, VA
Photo by C.G. Lynn
Charles C. Lynn, Jr.
Oct. 1, 1919
July 1, 1990

Elizabeth D. Lynn
Sept. 28, 1920
[blank]

Charles Craig Lynn, Jr. was the son of Charles Craig Lynn and Mary (Dogan) Lynn.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Madness Monday: "Gunning" for Blaine

Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, MN)
July 7, 1881

"GUNNING" FOR BLAINE

On Tuesday, in Washington, another sensation was created by a strange arrival at police headquarters.  It was nearly noon when a large, peculiar looking man dressed as a farmer, and who carried a shot gun, walked up to the sergeant's desk and asked if "Jim Blaine" lived there.  Some one on the street had told him he would find Blaine there and he was anxious to see him.  He had come to town and had been looking for Blaine all night.  "What do you want of him?" he was asked.  "I have been specially ordained." was the reply, "to shoot him, and here is the gun to do it with."  The visitor was informed that Blaine would surely be in soon, and while the stranger was making up  his mind to wait for Blaine, the others made arrangements to capture the lunatic, for such he certainly was.  He gave his name as Daniel McNamara and said he was from Prince William county, Pa [sic].  An ambulance was called and he was taken to an insane asylum.


Evening Star (Washington, DC)
July 9, 1881

MCNAMARA, THE CRANK.

What They Know About Him in Napa.

San Francisco, July 9. -- A dispatch from Napa says:  McNamara, the man who was arrested in Washington for making a remark about shooting Secretary Blaine, is supposed to have been at one time confined in an insane asylum here.  From the records of the asylum it appears that Daniel McNamara, of Ireland, aged 37 years, was admitted March 29, 1876.  He was a sergeant in the first battery of the first regiment of mounted artillery, and was discharged from the army July 21st, 1874.  He was discharged from the asylum in July 1879, as improved, and it is supposed that he afterwards went to Philadelphia.



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Matthew Whiting

Alexandria Gazette
December 1, 1810

DIED, on the 19th ult. at his seat, Snow Hill, after a short illness, Matthew Whiting, Esq., of Prince William county, who wanted but two days of 80 years of age.  In reviewing the life of this worthy man, we shall see as much to admire, and as little to condemn, as falls to the lot of man.  In all the social relations, his conduct thro' life was such as to conciliate esteem, and to defy the scrutinizing eye of censure; just to his word -- constant, generous, and sincere in his friendships -- his house in perfect hospitality, he was universally beloved; and his death, by which his affectionate lady and numerous connexions have sustained an inseparable loss, has bereaved the neighborhood of its firmest pillar, and proudest boast.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Shopping Saturday: James B. Cole

Manassas Journal - 12 December 1919

JAMES B. COLE
Independent Hill, Va.

Funeral Director and 
Licensed Embalmer

Life Like Features Restored
Robes and Caskets of all Kinds.
Hearse Furnished any Reasonable Distances.
REASONABLE PRICES

DEALER IN ALL KINDS MARBLE

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

An excerpt about the business in Ron Turner's book, PWCo 1805-1965 Business Licenses, reads, "According to John Samsky the funeral home at Independent Hill had a sign on the front that said “I’ll be the last one to let you down”."

The simple wooden building that held Cole's shop still stands in the lot beside Samsky's Store in Independent Hill, Coles District.  (And in case you're wondering -- yes, the Coles District was named after James' family.)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Will of Jane Alexander

JANE ALEXANDER Will
Prince William County Will Book M, pg 444
24 Nov 1825; proved 02 Oct 1826

I JANE ALEXANDER of Prince William County do make and appoint this my last will.  I give to my daughter SIDNEY ALEXANDER all my slaves viz. Aron, Cloe, Sandy, Elec, Eliza, Vina, & Caroline, and their increase to her & her heirs for ever, also all my stock of cattle, horses, sheep & hogs, my beds, household & kitchen furniture & all other property of which I may die possessed or may hereafter be entitled to to her & her heirs forever in witness whereof I hereunto affix my hand & seal this twenty fourth day of November 1825.

JANE ALEXANDER

Signed sealed & published in the presence of
RICHARD SHEA, CHARLES E. DADE

At a Court held for Prince William County this 2nd day of October 1826.  This last will and testament of JANE ALEXANDER deceased was presented to the Court and the handwriting of Richard Shea a subscribing witness to the same who is without the Commonwealth being proved by the oath of William A. G. Dade the same is admitted to record and administration with the will annexed of said JANE ALEXANDER deceased is granted to SIDNEY ALEXANDER who came into Court and qualified according to law.


Teste, PHILIP D. DAWE

Monday, December 23, 2013

Military Monday: Randolph Whitmer Fair

Manassas Journal
December 6, 1918

R. W. FAIR KILLED

Death Came on Day the Armistice Was Signed

A telegram has just been received, telling of the death of Randolph Whitmer Fair, who died in France November 10th.  He was killed in battle the day the armistice was signed.

His death came as a great shock to his many friends.  He leaves to mourn his loss his mother, who was anxiously awaiting his early return home from far across the water.  Also his wife and two little girls, the oldest six years of age, and her youngest a little over a year old.

Only a few days ago the oldest one, little Hazel, said, I want to see my papa.  And while this is their loss, we hope it will be his eternal gain.  And now he has gone from this earth.  He will nevermore know sorrow or pain.

Mr. Fair was born in Prince William county, Va., in February 10, 1886, and made this his home until Uncle Sam sent him away Nov. 6, 1917, to fight for his country.

Mr. Fair had been road superintendent for Mr. T. M. Russell, in the county, for four years and was liked by all his friends.

A Friend


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Church Record Sunday: Virginia News

Alexandria Gazette
January 10, 1876

VIRGINIA NEWS.

The new Presbyterian Church at Manassas will be dedicated on Sunday the 16th inst.

At the election by Woodbine Baptist Church, of Prince William county, for pastor, Rev. T. W. Newman received one more vote than Rev. Mr. Kerns.

The wife of Thomas R. Davis, of Bristoe station, Midland railroad, has been paralyzed.  -- The flocks of sheep of the Messrs. Godfrey, of Prince William, have suffered severely from dogs lately. -- Dr. E. H. Marsteller, of Prince William, has been appointed an assistant Sergeon [sic] in the United States Navy.  -- On Thursday last, while Franklin Arnold, of Prince William county, in company with his brother, was on his way to Occoquan to attend a wedding, he stopped for a few minutes at the house of Mr. Payne, and just had taken a seat when he suddenly fell back and died.  ~Manassas Gazette


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Shopping Saturday: Manassas Motor Co., Inc.

Manassas Journal - 22 December 1922

Current Affairs: Historic Prince William Awards First Annual Bulldozer Award


Historic Prince William Designates 
Prince William Public Schools as Recipient of 2013 Bulldozer Award

At the recent quarterly meeting, Historic Prince William awarded its first Bulldozer Award to Prince William Public Schools for their actions - and inactions - regarding cemetery preservation during construction of the 12th high school in the county.

On Veteran’s Day 2013, when no one was watching and without notifying the family, Prince William Public Schools excavated 11 graves from a historic cemetery associated with the Lynn family. 

After the school system was alerted to the presence of the historic cemetery this summer, Prince William Public Schools avoided its responsibility to find the relatives, or to communicate with those who could effectively help in the search.  

Prince William Public Schools produced incomplete documents for the Public Facility Review and skipped key steps in the process, after the initial land survey in 2008.   The school system approach was Bulldoze Now, Find Excuses Later.

As the society's president, Bill Olson, noted:

"The school system failed to do its homework.”

Friday, December 20, 2013

Current Affairs: Official Notice Regarding the PWCS Decision

Following the December 18th meeting of the Prince William County School Board, the PWCS website "Facts and Plans Regarding Grave Site Discovered at Location of 12th High School" has been updated to read as follows:

A poll School Board Members confirmed their acceptance of reinterment plans presented by the Superintendent, and reflecting the consensus of family members and others commenting at the December 16 public meeting.

Subject to further community consultation and approval of appropriate agencies, the plans include:
  • Reburial of remains and artifacts at an appropriate location on the property of the 12th high school as soon as required permits and agreements can be obtained (likely within within 3-6 months); 
  • The fencing and placement of markers and plaques at the site;
  • Its long-term maintenance and legal designation as a cemetery site; and
  • Inclusion of paths and access.

News articles regarding Monday's Public Hearing and the PWCS Board's decision can be found in the Prince William TimesThe Washington Post, and Bristow Beat.

Friend of Friends Friday: Trustees Sale: James Peake

Alexandria Gazette
March 1, 1826

TRUSTEE'S SALE.

In pursuance and under the authority of a deed of trust from James Peake, to the subscriber, executed on the 23d day of July, 1824, for certain purposes therein mentioned, will be sold for ready money, at publication, on Thursday the 13th day of April next at noon, on the premises, the

TRACT OF LAND,

in Prince William county, Va., whereon the said James Peake lately resided, containing one hundred acres.

ALSO, ON OTHER TRACT OF LAND,

in the neighborhood of the former, and adjoining the lands of John Mills and Henry Peake; containing about seventy acres, together with certain slaves, viz.

SUKEY, MARIA, SOPHIA, GILES, JOHN, MARY and ALLEN,

and the increase of the said females which have been born since the date of the said deed.  Also, the stock of Horses, Cattle & Hogs, the household and kitchen furniture, and implements of husbandry, & c. in the said deed enumerated.  The subscriber selling as trustee will convey such title only, as is vested in him by the deed.

Thomas Nelson, jr., Trustee
feb 11


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Current Affairs: Remains Displaced by Football Field to be Reintered on 12th HS Site

Two days after the Public Hearing to discuss the options regarding reburial of the remains removed from the 12th High School site, Milton C. Johns, PWCo School Board Chairman-at-Large, announced the Board's decision to reinter the remains close to the original cemetery.

It is the decision I was hoping for.  In my opinion, it is a positive step forward, both for PWCS and the Lynn family.

Following is a transcript of Mr. Johns' remarks at the December 18th Meeting of the Prince William County School Board:

     “Before we proceed to the approval of tonight’s agenda, I want to take a moment to make a few comments regarding the issue of the graves that were discovered on the site of the 12th High School.  For those of you who may not have been here on Monday, we had a very productive public meeting on that issue Monday night.  In keeping with the request from our first speaker on Monday, the Pastor of Woodbine Church, the Community seemed to come together.  Speakers put aside differences to recommend positive ways to resolve the issue of where to reinter the remains and artifacts recovered from the site.  We heard from about a dozen speakers, including members of the Lynn family who have a long and storied connection to the site and to this community.   While we don’t have recoverable DNA to prove it, the archaeologists tell us there is strong circumstantial evidence that the Lynns are indeed the descendants of the people who are buried at the site.

     Monday night’s speakers were not unanimous in their recommendations about how to proceed, but there was a strong consensus that the remains and artifacts should not be moved to a cemetery somewhere else, but rather reinterred on the same property where the original graves were located.  Out of respect for that consensus and the sentiment it represents, Dr. Walts and his staff have given the Board a recommendation that includes reburial of remains and artifacts at an appropriate location on the property of the 12th HS as soon as the required permits and agreements can be obtained, possibly within three to six months; the fencing and placement of markers and plaques at that site; its long term maintenance and legal designation as a cemetery site; and the inclusion of paths and access.   The School Board was polled and a majority has agreed to this recommendation.   Of course, all of this is subject to the approval of the County and other agencies and to working out final arrangements with the Lynn family and other interested individuals.

     I hope that these steps will help to heal any wounds that may have been inflicted by the unexpected discovery of the graves or the process that follows.   We are certainly very sorry for the dismay that resulted.  That said, it’s important to note that some folks have seized on this dismay and some may have even distorted facts in an attempt to divide our Community or even to derail plans for the school itself.  Let’s hope that we can all move past such efforts and come together as the Pastor suggested.  We now have a plan that meets the needs of most of the Lynn family members who addressed us as well as many others.  At the same time, it will allow our students to have the school they need for the future as well as a place where they can respectfully remember those who came before."   





Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday's Child: Anna Christine Armentrout

Manassas Journal
December 22, 1916

DEATH OF A CHILD

Anna Christine Armentrout, seventeen month old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. P. Aremtrout, of Bradley, died Sunday, after an illness of two weeks.

Funeral services were conducted Monday at Valley View Church of the Brethren, Elder S. H. Fory and Elder J. M. Kline officiating.  Interment was made in Valley View cemetery.  The pall bearers were four little girls -- Ruth Bibb, Ethel Robinson, Mabel Dodd and Goldie Beavers.


[Anna Christine Armentrout was born July 5, 1915 and died December 17, 1916.  She is buried beside her parents, Robert Paul and Sarah Baker Armentrout, in Valley View Cemetery, Nokesville, VA.]

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Current Affairs: December 16th Public Hearing

Thank you to everyone who attended the December 16th Prince William County School Board Public Hearing to discuss the reburial of the remains excavated from the 12th High School construction site.   Approximately 100 people attended, with speakers from the Lynn family, concerned neighbors, clergy, and citizens.  

News reports about the meeting can be found on page 3 of today's Washington Post Metro Section (by Michael Ruane) and the online version of today's edition of InsideNova (by Jill Palermo).

Monday, December 16, 2013

Will: Benson Lynn (1859)

BENSON LYNN Will
Prince William Co. Will Book R, Page 138
Will date 17 April 1858; Probate date 3 January 1859

I BENSON LYNN being weak of body but of sound mind do will and desire this my last will and testament shall be fully carried out after my death, I desire first all my just debts to be paid 2d. I leave my dwelling house and other houses and all the land on the south side of the Occoquan road and the east of the road heading to Lawrence Cole’s to my daughters MARY F. NORMAN, MAHALLA M. LYNN and LUWELLEN S. LYNN during their single lives but should either or all marry then their interest to be equally divided between SEYMOUR LYNN, GEORGE F. CARNEY, LELAND A. LYNN, JAMES E. LYNN and ALEXANDER P. LYNN together with the rest of my estate to the above named legatees. I leave LEVI C. LYNN, LAFAYETTE LYNN, ELIZABETH PRIDMORE and the heirs of LEROY W. LYNN each one, one dollar $1 and lastly I appoint ALEXANDER P. LYNN my executor hereby revoking all other wills. Given under my hand and seal of April 17th 1858.

BENSON LYNN {seal}

Signed in the presence of us,
WILLIAM LYNN
LEROY M. LYNN

At a court held for Prince William County in the 3th day of January 1859.

This last will and testament of BENSON LYNN dec’d. was proved by the oaths of LEROY W. LYNN and WILLIAIM LYNN witnesses thereto and is ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of ALEXANDER P. LYNN the executor therein named who made oath thereto, and together with SEYMOUR LYNN and GEORGE F. CARNEY their securities who justified as to their sufficiency entered unto and acknowledged this bond in the penalty of $4000.00 conditioned as the law directs certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate of the said will in due form.


Teste M. B. Sinclair, clerk

Copy of Benson Lynn's Will from 1880 Chancery Case

Sunday, December 15, 2013

REMINDER: December 16 Public Meeting on Re-interment of 12th High School Graves

December 16 Public Meeting Scheduled on Re-interment of 12th High School Graves

The Prince William County School Board will meet to hear public comments on plans for reinterring artifacts and remains from graves discovered during clearing for the county’s 12th high school, now set for completion in 2016.  

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m., December 16, 2013, at the Board Meeting Room of the Edward Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas.  

Archaeologists and others have completed study of the fragmentary remains from graves previously hidden beneath trees and brush that had grown for decades.  Insights and historical information will be presented so local residents can weigh in on appropriate ways to recognize and reinter the historic discoveries. 

Those wishing to address the School may:

-- Notify the Board Clerk in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu prior to noon on the day of the Board meeting to be placed on the list of speakers; or

-- Sign onto the list of speakers maintained at the entrance to the School Board meeting room at the beginning of the meeting, but prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.

Please provide your name, address, phone number.  In keeping with Board policy, all registered speakers will receive three minutes to present their views, which will be considered in subsequent Board deliberations. 

Church Record Sunday: Petition of Woodbine Baptist Church

The following can be found under Library of Virginia PWCo Chancery Case Index No. 1875_044.

~ ~ ~ ~

Petition of Woodbine Baptist Church

I, Sidney F. Teasdale, Deacon of Woodbine Baptist (New School) Church hereby ask the Circuit Court of Prince William County to appoint and confirm as Trustees of said church the following persons:

Levi C. Lynn, John H. Renoe, George W. Lowe, Charles W. Teasdale, and Aylett Nicol as Trustees to hold the property of said church, said Trustees having been appointed in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of said church.

S. F. Teasdale

Brentsville, Va.
May 3d, 1875


Friday, December 13, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Christmas Eve Murder of George Green

This Saturday, Ben Lomond Historic Site's Holiday Tour will include counts of How Slaves Spent Christmas.  

One especially grim tale of Christmas involves the 1856 murder of cruel slave owner, George Green, that made national news.

~ ~ ~ ~

Boston Herald (Boston, MA)
January 5, 1857

THE MURDER IN VIRGINIA.  The Alexandria Gazette gives the following particulars of the murder of Mr. George Green, in Prince William county, Va, on the night before Christmas: --

"He was in his house when it was entered by three negro women, a young negro man, and a negro boy, all of whom attacked Mr. G., but he kept them off.  During the attack he was struck by the oldest of the women (said to be aged about sixty years) with an axe, which Mr. Green succeeded in taking from her, and with which he defended himself for some time, but was finally overpowered and the axe taken from him, when he made his escape from the house, but was pursued and overtaken by the negroes about 150 yards from the house, and killed.

His body was then taken back into the house, and the house set fire to and burned down.  Mr. G.'s watch, and other articles which he had on his person at the time, were not stolen, but were found with his remains.  The negroes, after committing this diabolical and henious atrocity, went to their quarters, and when the neighbors arrived pretended to be asleep.  Traces of blood were discovered, and suspicion was immediate aroused, and when they were charged with having committed the crime, they made full confession, and were taken into custody, and at once committed to jail.  Mr. Green resided by himself."


~ ~ ~ ~

New-Bedford Mercury (New Bedford, MA)
February 27, 1857

Three of the five negroes who recently murdered Mr. Green, in Prince William county, V[a]., were hung on Friday last.  The three consisted of the mother, aged 65, and a son and daughter.  Two others, sons of the same woman, were respited.  About 1,000 spectators were present.





Thursday, December 12, 2013

1852 PWCo Magistrates

Alexandria Gazette
August 6, 1852

Prince William County

Brentsville, August 4, 1852 -- The following are the Magistrates of Prince William.

District No. 1 -- George H. Cockrill, W. C. Merchant, Seymour Lynn, C. G. Howison.

District No. 2 -- George Weedon, Bazil Brawner, Levi P. Lynn, Charles E. Norman.

District No. 3 -- Allen Howison, Summerfield Fitzhugh, Lewis B. Butler, Edwin Gains.

District No. 4 -- B. E. Harrison, John B. Grayson, Jesse Ewell, Winston L. Carter

Seymour Lynn, esq., has been made the presiding Justice.

[The boundaries of the districts can be found in my blog post here.]



Thriller Thursday: Freed on Murder Charge, Convicted as Chicken Thief

Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA)
February 26, 1932

FREED ON MURDER CHARGE, CONVICTED AS CHICKEN THIEF

Prince William County Man is Given Year's Term in the Penitentiary

Manassas, Va., Feb. 25 - Walter Woolfenden of near Kopp, Prince William County, who recently was acquitted of a charge of murder in the death of Goodwin Miller, was today convicted of a charge of stealing chickens and sentenced to one year in the penitentiary.

Woolfenden was arrested last October on a charge of stealing chickens from J.M. Shelton, near Woodbridge.  This charge was followed by a murder charge growing out of the deaths of Miller and his wife and child, whose charred bodies were found in the ruins of their burned home.

Woolfenden was not arrested in connection with the Goodwin deaths until it was learned that he had collected insurance on a policy of Miller in which Woolfenden was the beneficiary.  Woolfenden has not been tried for the death of Mrs. Miller for which he was also indicted.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Norman/Lynn

Alexandria Gazette
May 27, 1844

MARRIED,

On Wednesday evening, May 22d, at Mountain View, Prince William county Va., by the Rev. Jessee E. Weems, Mr. Charles E. Norman, to Mary F., daughter of Benson Lynn, Esq., all of Prince William.

[The Cincinnati papers please copy.]



Wedding Wednesday: Renoe/Tansill

Alexandria Gazette
September 11, 1907

WEDDING.

Miss Georgia Renoe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Renoe, and Mr. George W. Tansill, of Prince William county, were married at the home of the bride's father at Oak Grove, at noon yesterday, Rev. J. Clifton Bradford, of the Baptist Woodbine church, officiating.  After the wedding a bountiful collation was served.  The newly-married couple will board the Norfolk steamer tonight for a trip to the Jamestown Exposition.  The following guests attended the wedding:  Mr. and Mrs. John Renoe, Miss Jennie Renoe, Mr. and Mrs. Dorsey Fair, Mr. and Mrs. Molair, Mr. and Mrs. Bieber, Miss Evelyn Bieber, Mr. and Mrs. Lowe, Mr. Edward Keys, Mr. J. Lynn, Mr. M. H. Hunter, Mr. Ralph Fair and others.


Fundraiser: Brentsville Jail Restoration Project

Be part of making history happen!

If you're looking to make a tax-deductible donation before the New Year, please consider the Brentsville Jail Restoration Project.

"Now that building stabilization, archeological work and restoration of the masonry have wrapped up at the Brentsville Jail, it’s time to start pulling together exhibits to present a historic interpretation of all that happened in the jail during the Antebellum Period and later.
 
When the final work of installing heating, cooling, electricity, plaster, fireplaces, and doors for the jail cells is completed by the scheduled opening at the end of 2014, visitors will be able to learn of the conditions under which prisoners, mainly slaves, were imprisoned. They’ll be able to see some of the archeological pieces that were found inside the building dating back years preceding the Civil War."

If you are interested in being a part of history and would like to support the restoration work at the jail, please visit the Historic Preservation Foundation’s website at http://www.pwhpf.org. ​

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Events This Weekend at PWCo Historic Sites

December 14
Slave Holidays at Ben Lomond           
                                                                                            
5pm-7pm; tours ever 30 minutes $7.00 per person, free for children under six. Advanced reservations are suggested but not required.

Take a candle lit tour of the main house and slave quarter to learn how the enslaved community celebrated the holidays and how they resisted the institution that kept them enslaved. Living history vignettes will allow some of the enslaved workers at Ben Lomond to come to life, giving you a unique perspective into this period of American history.
                                                     
Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr., Manassas, VA 20109; 703-367-7872.

~ ~ ~ ~

December 14
Brentsville Holiday Concerts

5 and 6pm Concerts
FREE

Get in the Holiday spirit with an evening of seasonal music at the beautiful and historic Brentsville Union Church.  Two concerts will be performed by the Brentsville District High School Chorus.  Enjoy hot cider and cookies by a warm bonfire.

Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

Tombstone Tuesday: James M. and Daisy M. Russell

Woodbine Church Cemetery
Manassas, Virginia

James M. Russell, Sr. opened Russell's Store (general goods) in 1931 in the Woodbine/Canova section of the county.  His son, James. M., Jr., ran the store from 1972 until his death in 1989.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Cordelia (Keys) Lynn (1889)

From “Genealogical Abstracts from The Mirror 1880-1890 Loudoun County Virginia” by Patricia B. Duncan.

Thursday, 11 July 1889   Vol. XXXIV, No. 5
Died: At her home in Washington DC, on the 24th of May, 1889, Mrs. Cordelia LYNN, in her 67th year, of consumption. Widow of William LYNN of lower Prince William, where she had spent all her life except the last 16 years, which had been spent in Washington.  Elder CHECK officiated at her funeral, interred at family burying ground in Prince William, near Independent Hill.  She leaves 5 sons.

[Cordelia Keys married William Lynn, the son of Moses and Elizabeth (Cheshire) Lynn) and had 15 children:  Robert, Wallace, Sophia, Mildred, Ann ("Annie") M., Lucy, Luellen, Seymour William, Thadeus ("Thad"), Joe, Fielder, John Henry, James, Luther, and Duke.]

Friday, December 6, 2013

Current Affairs: A Family History Trampled

I would like to thank the Washington Post for printing my submission, A Family History Trampled for a Football Field, on their WP Opinion web page.  The article will also appear in this Sunday's printed edition of the Washington Post.

It is my hope that law makers in my county and at the state level will consider new legislation to establish clear guidelines to protect burial grounds, no matter how small or lost.

Friend of Friends Friday: Miss Ann Baird

Staunton Spectator and Vindicator
November 23, 1900

HER OLD SLAVES FAITHFUL

Manassas, Nov. 20 -  Miss Ann Baird is dead at her home in the upper part of this county, at the advanced age of ninety years.  Miss Baird was perhaps the only slaveholder in this country whose slaves remained with her after the war until now.

With but two exceptions her negroes clung to her faithfully, held by no other bond than that of affection and gratitude, and receiving no fixed compensation but the necessaries of life, for thirty-five years after their emancipation.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Those Places Thursday: View of Henry Hill from Stone House (Manassas Battlefield)

This is a modern-day view of Henry Hill, Manasas Battlefield, from inside Stone House on the Old Warrenton Turnpike (modern Route 29).

Stone House, once a tavern on a major thoroughfare, is better known for its service as a hospital during the battles of First and Second Bull Run.

After the Civil War, one of the owners to modify the structure into a private home was Benson Pridmore, the son of Benjamin and Elizabeth "Lucy" [Lynn] Pridmore.

Stone House is now part of the Manassas National Battlefield Park and open to the public during the spring/summer.

Photo by Carolyn G. Lynn

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday's Child: William Ashmore Berryman

Unfortunately, some things never change...

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
April 29, 1854

WM. ASHMORE BERRYMAN, aged 17 years, son of Alexander Berryman, of Prince William County, Va., was accidentally shot by one of his school mates, in Matagorda, Texas, on the 19th of March last.  By the earnest solicitation of his nearest relation, Wm. F. Alexander, his father consented to his going with him to that State, where he resides, for the purpose of sending him to school; and while the aged parent was waiting with great anxiety for the period to arrive when the child of his hold age would return  home, the melancholy intelligence reached him that his promising son was no more.

It has been said of this youth, in Texas, that he was a general favorite with all who knew him, and particularly of the young man who was so unfortunate as to be the cause of his death.  He was, also, beloved by all who knew him here.  He left here for Texas some time in September last.

Prince William County, April 22.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Current Affairs: Protests Arise as a Forlorn Cemetery is Dug Up to Make Way for a High School Football Field

Please take a moment to read the article by Michael E. Ruane on the front page of today's Washington Post entitled, In Virginia, protests arise as a forlorn cemetery is dug up to make way for high school football.  


Fair to both the PWCS and the Lynn Family, the article is also the first real indication of what was (and was not) found during the excavation of the graves.  
Philip B. Kavits, spokesperson for PWCS, says that the School Board has "...expressed a commitment to consult further with the community . . . and to work with the Lynn family, if appropriate.”
"If appropriate" is an interesting phrase.  It implies that, without a DNA link or written proof of a Lynn family connection -- something more concrete than the circumstantial evidence found in land records and deed books  -- that PWCS would carry on with their original plan to reinter the remains on the far Western side of the County.  I hope that is not the case, and that PWCS will do the right, compassionate, and descent thing by reinterring the remains somewhere on the original land.
I find hope in the article's interview with the archaeologists who excavated the remains.  "...Sipe, the archaeologist, said the old cemetery has been carefully mapped and the fieldstone grave markers saved.  He said it’s possible that the cemetery’s original configuration — burial locations and stone markers — could be re-created with high accuracy elsewhere."
The school system will host a public meeting on the reinterment at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in its administrative headquarters, the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, in Manassas.  If you, Gentle Reader, are in or near PWCo, please plan to attend.  

To quote Mr. Ruane:  "...So whoever was buried on the ridge outside Manassas more than 100 years ago can rest in peace again."

Exactly.

Deed: J.B.T. Thornton, Special Commissioner, to Samuel R. Lowe, Jr. (1897)

The following Deed was executed as part of the judgment in the Chancery suit of Jno. Clarke et als v. Rena E. [Lynn] Tansill.   Mrs. Tansill was the sister of Ida M. [Lynn] Lowe and sister-in-law to the purchaser, Samuel R. Lowe, Jr.  The property conveyed in this Deed would eventually be included in the 1946 Deed between Joseph Lowe and his brother Bradford Lowe.


Deed
J. B. T. Thornton, Special Commissioner, to Samuel R. Lowe, Jr.
PWCo. Deed Book 45, pages 213-215

This Deed, made this 1st day of February 1897 between J.B.T. Thornton, Special Commissioner, as hereinafter set forth party of the first part, and Samuel R. Lowe, Jr. of the County of Prince William, state of Virginia, party of the second part.

Whereas, by a decree of the Circuit Court of the County of Prince William entered on the 11th day of May 1895 in the Chancery case entitled Jno. Clarke et al vs. Rena E. Tansill et all therein depending, it was among other things, adjudged ordered and decreed that E. E. Meredith, Jno. M. Johnson, Wm. E. Lipscomb, and J.B.T. Thornton, who were thereby appointed Special Commissioners for the purpose, should sell by public auction, after certain advertisements, and upon certain terms in the said decree fully set forth, certain real estate therein described, and

Whereas, the said E. E. Meredith, Jno. M. Johnson, William E. Lipscomb, and J.B.T. Thornton pursuant to the said decree, did on the 7th day of December 1896, after having duly advertised the same in accordance with the terms of the said decree, offer for sale, by public auction, the following described real estate, to-wit:

All that certain piece or parcel of land, lying and being situate in the Coles Magisterial District in Prince William County, Va. supposed to contain about sixty acres, and bounded as follows. Beginning at a stone in line of S. R. Lowe Sr. on the east side of the Manassas & Independent Hill road, thence up the said road in direction of Manassas, to the Occoquan Road and thence down the Occoquan Road, to Wm. Lynn’s line, thence with Wm. Lynn’s line to line of S. R. Lowe Sr. thence with his line to the place of beginning, being the portion of the real estate of the late Benson Lynn, which embraces the Old Home Place, where L. A. Lynn now resides. 

At which sale the said S. R. Lowe, Jr. made the last, and highest, bid therefore, and became the purchaser thereof at the price of One Hundred and Twenty Five Dollars, and

Whereas, the said sale was duly reported to the Court by the said Special Commissioner, and was by another decree, entered in the said cause on the 9th day of December 1896, by the said Court, approved and confirmed and

Whereas, the said S. R. Lowe, Jr. hath paid the whole of the said purchase money, which payment was duly reported to the said Court, and whereupon, by said decree, entered by the said Court, in the said cause on the 9th day of December 1896, the said J.B.T. Thornton was appointed Special Commissioner to execute and deliver to the said S. R. Lowe, Jr., a good and sufficient deed with Special Warranty, conveying the said real estate to him the said S. R. Lowe, Jr. in fee simple. 

Now therefore this deed witnesseth that for and in consideration of the premises, and in obedience to the said last mentioned decree, the said J.B.T. Thornton Special Commissioner as aforesaid, does grant unto the said S. R. Lowe, Jr. with special Warranty the real estate hereinbefore fully described. 

Witness the following signature and seal,
J.B.T. Thornton, Specl. Commissioner {seal}

State of Virginia
County of Prince William

To wit,

I, Edwin Nelson, Clerk of the County Court, for the County aforesaid in the state of Vriginia, do certify that J.B.T. Thornton, whose name is signed to the writing hereto annexed, bearing date on the 1st day of February 1897, has acknowledged the same before me in my County aforesaid.  Given under my hand this 1st day of February 1897.

E. Nelson clk

In Prince William County Court, Febry 1st 1897

This Deed was presented to the Court, with a certificate annexed, and was ordered to be recorded.

Teste,

Edwin Nelson clk

Monday, December 2, 2013

PUBLIC NOTICE: December 16 Public Meeting Scheduled on Re-interment of 12th High School Graves

December 16 Public Meeting Scheduled on Re-interment of 12th High School Graves

The Prince William County School Board will meet to hear public comments on plans for reinterring artifacts and remains from graves discovered during clearing for the county’s 12th high school, now set for completion in 2016.  

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m., December 16, 2013, at the Board Meeting Room of the Edward Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas.  

Archaeologists and others have completed study of the fragmentary remains from graves previously hidden beneath trees and brush that had grown for decades.  Insights and historical information will be presented so local residents can weigh in on appropriate ways to recognize and reinter the historic discoveries. 

Those wishing to address the School may:

-- Notify the Board Clerk in writing at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108; by phone at 703.791.8709; or by email at pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu prior to noon on the day of the Board meeting to be placed on the list of speakers; or

-- Sign onto the list of speakers maintained at the entrance to the School Board meeting room at the beginning of the meeting, but prior to 6:55 p.m. on the evening of the meeting.

Please provide your name, address, phone number.  In keeping with Board policy, all registered speakers will receive three minutes to present their views, which will be considered in subsequent Board deliberations. 

Deed: Joseph Willard Lowe et als to Bradford Lowe (1946)

Deed
Joseph Willard Lowe et als to Bradford Lowe
PWCo. Deed Book 118, page 386

Whereas, Samuel R. Lowe, Jr. died intestate on the 6th day of December 1933, leaving as his sole surviving heirs at law, Joseph Willard Lowe, a son, Bradford Lowe, a son, and Clifford Leland Lowe, a grandson.  The said Clifford Leland Lowe being the sole surviving heir of Mark Clifford Lowe, a son of Samuel R. Lowe, Jr., who died intestate on the 6th day of March, 1924.
                That at the time of the death of the said Samuel R. Lowe, Jr. he was seized and possessed, in fee simple, of two (2) certain tracts or parcels of land lying and being situated in Coles Magisterial District, Prince William County, Virginia.
                NOW THEREFORE, THIS DEED, made and entered into this 11th day of March 1946, by and between Joseph Willard Lowe and Eva May Lowe, his wife, Clifford Leland Lowe and Gloria Marie Lowe, his wife, parties of the first part and Bradford Lowe, party of the second part.
                WITNESSETH: That the parties of the first part, who are the heirs at law of the late Samuel R. Lowe, Jr., and who are above the age of 21 years, for and in consideration of the sum of Ten Dollars ($10.00) cash in hand paid them by the party of the second part, who is an heir at law of the late Samuel R. Lowe, Jr., at and before the signing, sealing and delivery of this deed, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, and for other good and valuable consideration, they, the parties of the first part, do hereby bargain, sell, grant, convey and set over unto the party of the second part, with covenants of general warranty of title, with all rights, ways, easements and improvements thereunto belonging or appurtenant thereto, all of their undivided interest in and to the said tracts or parcels of land, aggregating 179 acres, more or less, lying and being situated in Coles Magisterial District, Prince William County, Virginia, and described as follows:
                Tract No. 1. Beginning at a stone in the line of S. R. Lowe, Sr. on the East side of the Manassas-Independent Hill Road, thence up the said road in the direction of Manassas to the Occoquan Road, and thence down the Occoquan Road to William Lynn’s line, thence with William Lynn’s line to the line of S. R. Lowe Sr., thence with his line to the place of beginning, and being the parties of the real estate owned by the late Benson Lynn, which embraces the old home place, containing about 60 acres, more or less, and being the same tract or parcel of land which was conveyed unto Samuel R. Lowe, Jr. by J. B. T. Thornton, Special Commissioner, in the case styled Clarke et al v. Tansill, dated February 1, 1897, and recorded among the land recorded of Prince William County, Virginia, on February 1, 1897, in Deed Book 45, page 213.
                Tract No. 2, All the residue of that certain tract or parcel of land lying and being situated in Coles Magisterial District, and known as “Mountain View,” and being bounded as follows: Beginning at the junction of the Manassas and Independent Hill Road, and the Occoquan Road, thence down the Occoquan Road to Payne’s line, thence with Payne’s line to Keys, thence with Keys’ line to the old Levi Lynn tract, thence with the Lynn line to the Manassas-Independent Hill Road, thence with said road to the place of beginning, containing 119 acres, more or less, and being the same tract or parcel of land which was conveyed by J. B. T. Thornton, Special Commissioner, in the suit styled Clarke et al v. Tansill, to Samuel R. Lowe, Jr. by deed dated September 19, 1899, and recorded among the land records of Prince William County, Virginia, on March 21, 1900, in Deed Book 48, page 84.
                Less and except a certain tract or parcel of land containing 0.76 acres taken by the Highway in suit styled H. G. Shirley, State Highway Commissioner, v. Joseph Willard Lowe, Bradford Lowe, and Clifford Leland Lowe.  The order vesting title to said strip taken for highway purposes, is recorded among the land records of Prince William County, Virginia, in Deed Book 106, at page 301.
                Said tracts or parcels of land are subject to a right of way easement granted by S. R. Lowe (Samuel R. Lowe, Jr.) unto C. W. Alpaugh, his successors or assigns, granting the right to erect and maintain the necessary pole line in front of the premises, the poles to be set inside of road fence line, to sustain the necessary wires, guys, stubs, anchors and fixtures for the supply and distribution of electrical energy for electric light, heat and power.  Said right of way easement is dated September 9, 1927, and is recorded among the land records of Prince William County, Virginia, in Deed Book 84, page 448.  Said tracts or parcels of land contain in the aggregate, 179 acres, more or less.
                The parties of the first part covenant that they have the right to convey their undivided interest in and to the said tracts or parcels of land, to the party of the second part; that the party of the second part shall have quiet and peaceful possession of their undivided interest in and to said tracts or parcels of land, free from any and all encumbrances; that they, the parties of the first part, have done no act to encumber their undivided interest in and to said tract or parcels of land; and that they, the parties of the first part, will execute such further assurances of and to the title of their undivided interest in and to said tracts or parcels of land as may be necessary and requisite.
                Witness the following signatures and seals:

Joseph Willard Lowe {seal}
Eva May Lowe {seal}
Clifford Leland Lowe {seal}
Gloria Marie Lowe {seal}

W. S. Revenue Stamps $4.40 Cancelled


State of Virginia
County of Prince William, to-wit:
                I, Ruth M. Brunt, a notary public in and for the County of Prince William in the State of Virginia, do hereby certify that Joseph Willard Lowe and Eva May Lowe, his wife, whose names are signed to the foregoing and annexed general warranty deed, bearing date on the 11th day of March, 1946, have and each has this day acknowledged the same before me in my County of Pr. Wm. State of Virginia.
                My commission as a notary public expires on the 8ty day of Dec. 1946.
                Given under my hand and notarial seal this 16th day of March, 1946

Ruth M. Brunt
Notary Public {seal}


State of Virginia
City of Alexandria, to-wit:
                I, Joanna M. Barry, a notary public in and for the County of City of Alexandria, in the State of Virginia, do hereby certify that Clifford Leland Lowe and Gloria Marie Lowe, his wife, whose names are signed to the foregoing and annexed general warranty deed, bearing date on the 11th day of march 1946, have and each has acknowledged the same before me in my county of City of Alexandria, State of Virginia.
                My commission as a Notary Public expires on the 26th day of January, 1948.
                Given under my hand and notarial seal this 16 day of March, 1946.

Joanna M. Barry
Notary Public


In the Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court of Prince William County, Virginia, March 18, 1946, this Deed from Joseph Willard Lowe et al to Bradford Lowe with certificate attached was this day admitted to record at 9:10 A.M.


Worth H. Storke, Clerk 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Current Affairs: Grave Matter: Kept in the Dark

Another local periodical has picked up the story about the Prince William County School’s (“PWCS”) hurried exhumation and removal of a 100+ year old grave yard from the future site of a new high school football stadium.  A link to the Gainesville/Prince William Times’ article “Kept in the Dark” can be found here.

In the article, Mrs. Betty Jean (Lowe) Eller, who sold the property in 2007, defends the PWCS and its actions.  She states, “If the Lynns did not try to keep up with their graves and people lay there rotted and they couldn’t find out [where it was before], I think they have a hell of a nerve [to come back now].”  An especially insensitive and ironic remark in light of the fact that Mrs. Eller’s grandmother was a Lynn.  Samuel R. Lowe, Jr. married Ida M. Lynn, the daughter of Leland A. Lynn and Catherine A. Selecman, on August 16, 1893.   Their son, Bradford Lowe, was Mrs. Eller's father.  (A 'hell of a nerve' indeed.)

The article also makes mention of the PWCS’s plans to reinter the remains at Stonewall Memory Gardens, on the far Western edge of the county, a “public chartered” cemetery that PWCS admits came in as the lowest bidder.  Stonewall Memory Gardens is nowhere near the Coles Magisterial District, where the original cemetery was located.  To paraphrase the article, why can’t PWCS move the remains to another location on the planned school site?  Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter if they are related to the Lynns, the Lowes, or any other family in Independent Hill.  The human beings disinterred from their “final” resting place have the right to be buried on the land where they lived, worked, and died. 

Surely the PWCS can find a way to set aside a small parcel of land near the original burial site to serve as a new cemetery, where these souls can be laid to rest on what was once their home.  It would the right, and decent, thing to do.